A Richmond High School teacher credited with helping to revamp the school’s Engineering Partnership Academy Program is set to throw the ceremonial first pitch Saturday at the Oakland A’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Aurelio Garcia, a longtime A’s fan, said he’s never played baseball before, but was called to the mound to launch a special night at Oakland Coliseum during which science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education will be promoted to youths via a Chevron-sponsored exhibit and fireworks show.
“I am nervous,” Garcia said Friday. “I do feel some pressure. However, I have been practicing at home and with some students at the school.”
No matter where the ball ends up, Garcia said the experience will be a dream come true. He became an A’s fan after moving to the U.S. and watching the team in the 1988 World Series.
“I’ve been an A’s and baseball fan since the series,” he said.
The A’s are major fans of educators like Garcia. The team has an ongoing partnership with Chevron to use the sport of baseball as a fun way to offer instruction on STEM subjects to young people. In May, the partnership distributed free Science of the Game workbooks to Bay Area students. Earlier this month, a STEM-themed baseball clinic with current and former A’s players was held for youths at Martin Luther King Jr. Ball Field in Richmond.
Over the last five years, Garcia along with a team of teachers and district administrators have done much to forward the effort at Richmond High School by implementing the Project Lead the Way curriculum, a nationwide STEM program.
Even though he gets the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Garcia insisted he was not alone in the program’s successful run. He called his upcoming mound appearance “an incredible honor to me, my school and my students.”
The A’s game will include the Chevron STEM ZONE, a free interactive exhibit that explores the scientific concepts behind the game of baseball, such as the basic principles of gravity and aerodynamics. The STEM ZONE will be set up behind sections 201 and 217 during the game, and at one point during the game more than 100 youths from the Richmond Police Activities League will be escorted through the exhibit.
The game will also feature Disney•Pixar’s The Incredibles Fireworks Show, presented by Chevron.
For Chevron, promoting STEM subjects to youths helps build a future workforce.
“These skills are essential to the success of our company and the vitality of our communities, particularly here in the Bay Area,” said Rhonda Morris, Vice President of Downstream & Chemical Human Resources at Chevron.